Have you ever heard of the 1883 book English as She Is Spoke by Pedro Carolino — a man who, unfortunately, had little personal acquaintance with the English tongue. Intended as a Portuguese-English phrase book, the actual translations in English as She Is Spoke are almost invariably incoherent or inappropriate. The book’s saving grace is that the results are often strangely humorous. In his Book of Heroic Failures, Stephen Pile comments “Is there anything in conventional English which could equal the vividness of ‘To craunch a marmoset’?” I was reminded of this a couple of minutes ago when a friend sent me an email with the subject line “EULA From Hell” (where EULA stands for “End-User License Agreement”). In his email, my friend wrote as follows: “So I’m installing a Chinese call logging system on my computer and, during the install process, I have to agree to the End User License Agreement. I’ve seen some bad ones, but this one takes the cake. Here’s the unedited version for your amusement…” This EULA is shown below. I emailed my friend asking if it would be OK if I posted this without mentioning his name, and he replied, “Sure — I just hope nothing gets lost in translation” (I’m still rolling on the floor laughing).
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Good Grief! My brain is still reeling. There are some thought-provoking statements in here, such as, “Loss of profit, can. By means of sex die away” and “Forbidden electric pull insert soft dog!!!” I’m sure none of us want either of these things to happen. So, are there any gems in the above that shout out at you? Does this count as the worst EULA (or user manual) you’ve seen, or can you top it with something even more… what’s the word I’m looking for?